The KitKat maker has filed a patent for a method to structure sugar differently using a method it says is natural, without impacting taste.
It claims the method is "completely new" and has the potential to reduce total sugar content by up to 40% in its confectionery products.
The company refused to comment on the details of the method when contacted by ConfectioneryNews.
It says it will communicate details of the first roll-out of reduced-sugar confectionery sometime next year.
Separate fruit juice patent
Nestlé R&D provider Nestec filed a patent in April this year for a method using fruit juice to reduce sugar in food, including confectionery.
Nestlé said the fruit juice patent is not linked to its latest announcement.
Nestlé lagging behind competitors in healthy snacks: Euromonitor
Nestlé today sells fewer of its snacks on a health and wellness platform compared to its competitors. Euromonitor International says just 3% of Nestlé snack retail sales come from health & wellness products, compared to 22% for Mondelēz, 24% for Mars, 10% for Hershey and 36% for Perfetti Van Melle.
Lianne van den Bos, senior food analyst at Euromonitor, said: “Nestlé’s health and wellness snacks range is negligible, benefiting the likes of Mondelēz. Whilst KitKat remains the number one brand in confectionery, Nestlé does rely heavily on the brand, which is risky in case the brand falls out of favor with consumers.”
A departure from downsizing?
Dr. Jörg Spieldenner, head of Nestlé’s Public Health Nutrition department, previously told this site that sugar reduction in confectionery is “very difficult from a technological point of view”.
Nestlé has set targets for sugar content for each of its product categories under its Nutritional Profiling System .
Chocolate confectionery aimed at adults should not exceed 200 kcal per serving (10% of an adults daily value) and added sugar should be no more than 12.5 g, under its model.
Nestlé has to date favored downsizing products to achieve a sugar reduction in chocolate. For example, in the UK, it has cut the size of an Aero bar from 41 g to 36 g to realize a 12% sugar reduction, and has shrunk Yorkie bars from 53 g to 44 g for a 17% sugar reduction.